Five Keys to Event-Based Marketing

by Jim Berkowitz on May 29, 2008

Here’s a very interesting commentary, that appeared in Online Media Daily, by B J Morgan, Director of Segment Management for Unica Corp., Five Keys to Event-Based Marketing:

For decades, marketers have strived to target exactly the right message to customers. Campaign management, predictive analytics, demographic and psychographic overlay data, and other tools now allow incredibly precise matching of offer with customer, but incremental ROI eventually becomes increasingly hard to generate.

The biggest challenge for today’s marketers is getting the timing right and communicating with customers actively “in the market” to buy. Companies can grow revenue faster if they can get the right message to the right customer at the right time via an event-based marketing (EBM) program that monitors customer behavior across the enterprise to identify meaningful customer events and patterns, and then elicits ‘right time’ business actions.

The five keys to a successful event-based marketing program are the ability to monitor individual customer behavior, the ability to explicitly take time into account, openness, ease of use, and speed.

Each of your customers behaves uniquely. It’s a fact, one-size-fits-all marketing programs don’t work. A crucial component of a successful EBM program is identifying when significant customer-specific behavior change has occurred. It creates valid reasons to contact your customers and provides your sales and service staff with consultative sales opportunities and opportune loss interventions. The relevance and timeliness of the information produces substantially better close rates, dramatically higher levels of customer receptivity, and significantly reduced attrition.

Take time into account. Uncovering a change in customer behavior doesn’t always happen overnight. It’s essential that you understand both behavioral changes over time and be able to detect expected behaviors that do not happen-to maximize EBM program results. Defining an event in terms of cumulative transactions over time is a modification to event-trigger programs that too few pursue.

An open architecture is essential. Alas, not every granular piece of data you need to detect customer behavior changes is constantly updated in a relational database. Your EBM technology platform needs to monitor customer portfolio, interaction, transaction, and demographic information from disparate data sources to identify the customer events that signify cross sell or retention. Furthermore, the platform must be able to deliver event triggers to disparate platforms for execution.

Allow business users to control your EBM program. Given the complexity of achieving all of the above, your EBM platform must have an easy-to-use interface that empowers a business user to implement revenue-generating processes and programs in the form of large numbers of complex EBM triggers quickly – and do it without significant IT intervention.

Act fast or lose the opportunity. How quickly your company responds to a customer’s behavior change or missed expected behavior has a significant impact on the probability of a positive customer response. Quickness is measured in hours or days or even seconds, depending on the specific opportunity or channel. Very simply, reducing the elapsed time between the event and customer outreach significantly increases the probability of a successful interaction.


Mehmet Icmen April 14, 2010 at 11:39 am


I read your article and liked very much. There are lots of useful ideas. I work in a Telco company in East European country. And for the past 5 months I’ve been building a Rule based marketing tool infrastructure. As you said in your article we are good at serving offline offers and campaigns. But as a nature of Telco return of our initiatives are not like we want. And we are really enthusiastic about touching our subscribers in the right time and right way.

But the real concern is the priority. I mean there are kinds of subscribers and some of them do the same thing at the same time. This group of subscribers have different behaviours. How can you choose your best fit subscribers?

We are working on lots of scenarios. depends on time, segmentation, a model depends on past response for similar campaigns or value based scoring of subscriber and related campaigns etc.

We are very poor of knowledge about prioritization. Every consultant gives ideas but there is not an practical way to do is.

What is your idea on this subject. How are the other Telco’s managing this? Is there any that are doing this good?

Jim Berkowitz April 15, 2010 at 9:24 am


Nice to hear from you. I’m not sure how Telco’s are handling their email marketing segmentation. But I’d have to say that there are really no shortcut’s. Start with your goals. Develop a variety of segmentation models that you believe will achieve those goals. And finally, test, test, test.

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